No.178 (12/24/10)

The End of Year and the New Year's

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

As many people look forward to Christmas and the holiday season, families and friends get together. It is a big traditional event in the world. On the other hand, the Japanese people work harder than ever to close the year and prepare for a new fresh start in their businesses. In order to appreciate their hard work and achievement, business associates get together and enjoy eating and drinking regardless of their hierarchical relationships. Some people also plan such a party between families and friend, and others go on a trip instead of a izakaya style party.

Literally it means parties of forgetting this year at the end. It is like Year End Party from the American culture.

This means the New Year's party.

Izakaya 居酒屋
It is a style of bar and dining in Japan. Izakaya originally began from liquor shops, which had a small corner to serve alcohol like a pub. “酒屋に居すわる(Sakaya ni isuwaru)” is to keep drinking at a liquor store, and it created the word. Some older people also call it “Akachouchin (赤提灯/a red lamp) as a symbol of izakaya upfront. Not only alcohol but also serving beer snacks back in the old days, nowadays many izakaya bar and dining serve a variety of foods that family with children can also enjoy their foods. There are many franchise chains such Tsubohachi(つぼ八), Shirokiya(白木屋), or Uotami(魚民 a newly opened at the American village) and so on.

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